Franchise / Ghostbusters
"I ain't afraid of no ghost."

"If there's something your neighborhood
Who You Gonna Call?GHOST-BUSTERS
If there's something weird...and it don't look good
Who You Gonna Call? — GHOST-BUSTERS"
Opening verse to the franchise's Title Theme Tune.

A popular, enduring horror/sci-fi/comedy franchise in which Mad Science takes on occult terror, and wins, hilariously.

The settingnote  is modern day New York City, which has become overrun with supernatural creatures of every description. Some ghosts are mere annoyances or even benign, but all too many of them are dangerous, and a few are bent on causing The End of the World as We Know It. There's only one force that can stop them: A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who protect humanity with high tech weaponry—and entertain generations of viewers with their quirky personalities and witty dialogue.

The franchise started with Ghostbusters (1984), a film starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson; Aykroyd and Ramis also wrote the script. It was a smash hit which led to a sequel, Ghostbusters II, in 1989.

The films produced a popular Animated AdaptationThe Real Ghostbusters in 1986, which had its own Spin-Off, Extreme Ghostbusters in 1997. As a rule of thumb, they aren't in continuity with the movies and the later video game (one episode of the cartoon even had them watching the original movie) but are otherwise based on the same story and internal principles that the movies introduced.

There was also The Role-Playing Game developed by West End Games in 1986; set after the first movie, the players were cast as owners/employees of a Ghostbusters franchise in their local community. In addition to ghosts, adventure hooks could feature encounters with other paranormal creatures and incidents, including vampires, aliens, and time-travelers. A revised version of the game, Ghostbusters International, was published in 1989 following the release of Ghostbusters II. It was eventually named as one of "The Millennium's Most Underrated Games" by Pyramid magazine.

A theme park show, Ghostbusters Spooktacular was yet another product of the franchise, being one of the opening day attractions at Universal Studios Florida in 1990. However, it was later quietly closed in 1996. Along with the attraction, the Ghostbusters used to be involved in a lot of the park's street entertainment, most notably in an Intercontinuity Crossover show where the team clashed against Beetlejuice. The latter show continued to operate until 2005, when Universal gave up the theme park license for the series.

The franchise had numerous video games made for it. Practically every video game system that existed in the mid-eighties had an adaptation of the first movie created for it, in addition to at least one adaptation of the second movie, an arcade game and a game with an original story created in 1990 for the Sega Genesis. In 2009, a video game adaptation was released, written and performed by the original cast, that acts as a third story. Two years after the second movie, the Ghostbusters are doing well. The new mayor rode into office on pro-Ghostbusting legislation: New York directly pays the Ghostbusters for doing their job, and insures all of their collateral damage. In addition, their research on paranormal activity has given them enough cash to develop new technology, which allows them to hire a young intern (the player character) to test it out for them. However, a Gozer exhibit at the local museum triggers a reawakening of the forces unleashed in the first movie...

Because Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis were a key part of developing the story, they have stated that this game is in the same continuity as the movies. Interestingly, there are still some variations to the plot that occur with three distinct versions: a "Realistic" version for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows; a "Stylistic" version for the PlayStation 2, PSP and Wii; and a version for Nintendo DS that has totally different gameplay (and doesn't even have the rookie). The console games were very well received and applauded for being a unique and dynamic gaming experience. Tropes relating specifically to the Video Game (especially video game tropes) should go on the page for the game.

There was also a comic book series by long-defunct NOW Comics which used the animated series' art style but had its own story lines. IDW Publishing, after a couple of miniseries, is now publishing an ongoing comic series picking up a few years after the second movie.

Talk about a third film persisted for decades, but promptly ended with Harold Ramis' death in February 2014. Ghostbusters (2016), a Continuity Reboot with female leads, was announced in October; it was released on July 22, 2016. In December of that same year, the franchise received its second theme park attraction spin-off, Ghostbusters: Battle for New York, a Light Gun Game ride that opened with the Motiongate Dubai theme park.

A new animated series, Ghostbusters: Ecto Force, is in development. An animated film, to be directed by Fletcher Moules (best known for his Clash of Clans commercials), is also planned, and Ecto Force (which was originally scheduled for 2018) has been put on hold until it's completed.

See also Yo-kai Watch, a Japanese franchise that is a Spiritual Adaptation of this.

Works in the Ghostbusters franchise with TV Tropes pages:

Not part of the official franchise, but still worth mentioning: